Alexis Christodoulou stretches the possibilities of architecture in 3D renderings of dreamy buildings. The artworks he creates sit on the verge between fantasy and reality. At first glance, they could be photographs of existing spaces, maybe in Hong Kong, perhaps in Miami, but their perfection gives them away. A disclaimer of 'No photographs. Just renders.' is written in his Instagram bio in case you need to be sure.
Alexis Christodoulou Designs Spaces You Wish Existed
All images: Alexis Christodoulou
Impossibly beautiful spaces
'I started because of a fascination with 3D renderings and with spaces that might be slightly improbable in the real world,' Alexis says, 'improbable either because they're impossible to build or because nobody would spend that amount of time or money to build something with a tiled ceiling.'
Besides intricate tilework, the spaces he imagines are characterised by pastel tones, curved walls, arches and columns, and swimming pools just waiting to be dived into. But people are never part of the picture. Alexis says, 'I find 3D humans to be in my top 5 weirdest things in the world.'
Another characteristic of Alexis’ work is his expert use of light, depicted in late-afternoon shadow or dappled poolside shade, or the shadow of a palm tree on the side of a building. He’s also recently introduced motion. 'As you learn more about the software, you naturally become more proficient and interested in trying out new techniques,' he says. 'One day you figure out how to make water move, so then all your water moves for a while.'
Side-project turned art project
Alexis’ renderings began as a side project and quench his admiration for interior design and architecture, even though he doesn’t count himself as technically proficient in either. A new scene for him can be inspired by architectural or landscape photography or the work of architectural studios of the past and present. 'I look at a lot of images and at buildings around me,' he says. Each can take between a few hours and a few days to complete, and begins with some sketching and rough modelling on the computer before he begins to play with light, camera angles and materials. 'But mostly,' Alexis says, 'it's me sitting in front of the computer and asking my girlfriend if she thinks I'm wasting my time.'
The spaces Alexis creates have accumulated a following of admirers on Instagram. Besides being beautiful to look at, they’re places you can imagine stepping into, where the temperature is always just right and the wind is never more than a welcome breeze. He thinks the appeal is his tiled ceilings. 'Or maybe,' Alexis says, 'the fact that there is always something slightly surreal about the space that would be difficult to get past an architect without a few furrowed brows.'
See more dream scenes by Alexis Christodoulou on Instagram